Shortly before nine o'clock, our wing weapons officer, Maj. Scott "Foot" Goodfellow, walked into the planning room. "The 4th has just lost a jet," he said.
The room fell silent. Finally, Spike asked who the pilot was and whether or not he ejected. "I don't know," Foot answered. "I'm on my way over to the command post, and as soon as I hear something, I'll come back and let all of you know."
The atmosphere in the room suddenly
turned somber. I had been happy a few minutes before, but now I felt as if I had been rolled over by a truck. We continued planning. An hour passed before Foot returned. As soon as he walked in, Stinger hung up the secure phone and Raj turned down the music. Everyone expected the worst.
"This is what I know. We received a dispatch from CENTAF headquarters about an hour ago telling us that one of our jets had gone down near the Saudi-Kuwaiti border. According to army personnel on scene, the pilot did not get out. Those who haven't checked in with the command post yet are Maj. Jay 'Momar' Lindell, Capt. Mike 'Redman' O'Grady, Capt. Scobey 'Sudds' Suddreth, and Capt. Mike 'Chins' Chinburg. I'll let you know when we hear from them."
around midnight, Col. Huddle delivered the news to us. The downed pilot was Capt. Mike "Chins" Chinburg. Col. Huddle did not know what caused the accident. He would meet with Sudds as soon as he landed. Filled with emotion, I walked out on the squadron balcony overlooking the 421st flightline. Spike joined me a few minutes later. The two of us stared into the night.